Project 3 : The formation of academic identity: Place, space and time

This project will explore the formation of academic identity within the context of doctoral education. Through two sub-projects, it will focus on the historical and contemporary scenes of doctoral education as preparation for an academic career in three national sites on the Pacific Rim: Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.

Academic identity is understood to be the ways in which the academic self – or academic subjectivity – is consciously and unconsciously understood and enacted. In this research, the focus will be on doctoral students who, through the liminal process of doctoral education, are being made over into academic subjects capable of independent and original research.

The project enfolds two parallel sub-projects:
i. Tracing the presentation of academic selves in doctoral thesis acknowledgments and abstracts at one institutional site within each national
    context (archival and textual analysis work): in this project, researchers will locate and analyse a substantial corpus of thesis
    acknowledgement sections to explore how those sections are used as a space enact academic identity:
   a. How is the self is constructed in relation to others (supervisors, family, peers etc)?
   b. How is the self is constructed in relation to the research/thesis and its knowledge contribution in the discipline?
   c. How is the self is constructed in relation to place/space/time?

ii. Exploring contemporary manifestations of the idea of academic identity, most likely again at one institutional site within each national
    context, as something to be ‘developed’ in doctoral students through a cultural studies/present perspective (empirical work):
   a. What is this thing called ‘academic identity’ that is being offered to doctoral students?
   b. How is it being cultivated, especially inside doctoral education?
   c. How is space/place/time entangled in this cultivation?

Project leads
Associate Professor Barbara Grant, CRSTIE/The University of Auckland 
Dr Frances Kelly, CRSTIE/The University of Auckland

Project team members
Dr Cally Guerin, Careers and Research Training Scheme (CaRTS) Officer, Faculty of Arts, The University of Adelaide
Professor Catherine Manathunga, College of Education, Victoria University
Associate Professor Machi SATO, Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE), Hiroshima University, JAPAN